Q & A With Eddie Huang + Watch Episode 2 and 3 of Fresh Off The Boat L.A. Installment
BR: Do you still think of yourself primarily as a chef? Or a TV personality? Or a writer? I guess I mean -- what do you want to do when you grow up?
EH: I've never said I was a chef, I think I make great food. I will never open a restaurant to do, like, tasting courses. I kinda just want to be ... like I remember growing up my grandma would go to the same place every day for hot soy milk and dumplings. I don't want to own super restaurants. I just want to be that guy who sold 8-10 items really well, and you can always count on it. You can go, listen to great music, be with my friends, $20 and you can have a great meal. That's what food is to me. I don't really remember tasting meals, they don't hit me at my core. Baohaus is who I am. Sometimes I do pop up dinners to flex my muscles just so people know there's other things I can do, but this is what I choose to do. I choose to own this item and this type of dining.
But what I'm very interested in, whether it's writing, whether it's hosting a show, whether it's cooking food, I'm just into the discussions of identity, culture and the politics of culture. Gentrification is something I'm interested in. Appropriation, how to defend your culture and maintain your identity in America. Food was my way in because I tried to do it through writing, I tried to do it though other jobs, I worked at the Innocence Project and do it though the law, but I really used food as a way for me to start exploring these ideas.
And I think I've been successful in that, I think I've stayed very true to myself, I don't think I've ever curbed anything I've ever wanted to say for the sake of my business. And I'm proud of me and my brother for that. I'm proud of what Baohaus stands for. We'll never get a Michelin star or whatever, but I'm proud of what it means to customers, and especially young people.
BR: You can't possibly want a Michelin star.
EH: Yeah. No. I don't.
Watch Fresh Off The Boat, L.A. episode 3:
Watch: Eddie Huang's Fresh Off The Boat Los Angeles Episode
Eddie Huang Takes on Marcus Samuelsson: Plus Issues of Authenticity, Race + Govind Armstrong's Post & Beam
Read This Now: Francis Lam and Eddie Huang on The Identity Politics of Culinary Misappropriation
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